When I first started skiing, I didn't have an idea how to find a guide. I had no connections with any nordic clubs nor did I know anyone who actually skied! In the previous years, Don and I had skied up at Nickel Plate Nordic Centre just outside of Penticton, but we were never there enough each year to really get to know anyone. In February 2006, just after my first camp with Jeff, we went back up there to get in some skiing and one morning, while I was out skiing, Don met the coach up there, Murray Farbridge. Don asked if he'd be willing to give me a lesson, which Murray agreed to do so out we went. Right from the start, Murray was always smiling and always willing to help me become a better skier. He was easy to talk to and his love of skiing was infectious!
A few weeks later, I was back again and was going to do the Nickel Plate loppet, but Murray talked me out of it, suggesting the club races held the day after would be better suited for me. He knew I needed a guide and said he wouldn't be available, but he offered to take me out and show me the race course so I could manage on my own. But it turned out that he opted not to do the loppet (I forget why, but there was a reason!) and the morning of the club races, he offered instead to guide me. It worked out really well and so when I was invited to attend Nationals in Thunder Bay in March 2006, Murray not only offered to come as my guide, but as BC's para-nordic coach as well. You had to give this guy credit - he'd only been skiing with me for about 6 weeks, had virtually no experience with para-nordic skiing and yet he jumped in with two feet and did a fantastic job - even meeting Tyler who was in a very foul mood didn't deter him and that is really saying something!
Murray has to have one of the biggest hearts out there. He is always willing to lend a hand or give words of advice and no matter what happens, he just keeps on smiling! Murray was my first official guide and though both of us were new to the concept, we made it work. So thank you Murray for all of your coaching help, your wise words of wisdom, your spontaneity and most of all, for your willingness to take on being a guide without fully knowing what you were getting into! I hope we get many more chances to go out and ski together in the future!